Tag Archive: oil


Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. For those of us who are familiar with the Gulf states, we know that their main export and economic staple is oil. Naturally, this generates LOTS of foreign investment and yes, foreign political intervention. And yes, the oil business is very profitable. However, oil is a non-renewable source of energy that is running out. Tick tock, tick tock.

The politics and economies of Gulf states are shaped around the oil industry. Let’s take Saudi Arabia as an example. The country’s political stance on international issues is designed to protect its “oil relationships.” Oil is the source from which profits are generated for the state. It is also the main source around which jobs are structured. Nor is Saudi Arabia an exception; most Gulf states are like this. As it stands, the Gulf states are very dependent on oil as a source that creates jobs, and are also dependent on other countries for economic survival. Indeed, they export oil for a living.

My questions are these: When the oil runs out, (and it is due to do so in our relatively near future) what will the Gulf States do then? Do they think their foreign business partners will stick around after the oil has run out? How will they survive? What jobs will be available, what FDI will be available, and with what money will they be able to run their countries if their main source of economic survival runs out?

If the Gulf States do not diversify their economies, they will end up pumping their own countries dry with little to show for it in the end.  If they diversify and expand their economy, the will have more political and economic independence, more jobs for their own people, and will have less to worry about in terms of what to do when the oil supply ends. Just a thought.

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. If you’ve been following the news about our recently discovered territory of oil and natural gas in the Med. Sea, then you know that this problem is fast becoming politicized. After all, Lebanon and Israel do not agree on their maritime borders, which is dangerous, given that the two have been in a declared state of war since 1948. This issue has gone to the U.N. for resolution. However, an Iranian oil company has been given the rights to drill in Lebanese waters. And who would have guessed…matters are about to get even more complicated.

 Cairn Energy, an energy firm based in the United Kingdom, has formed a consortium, including the Beirut-based CCC, to bid for the rights to drill for gas and oil off the coast of Lebanon. They plan to bid for licensing by next year. Although they have been cautioned about the political sensitivities around this issue, Cairn Energy CEO Simon Thomson, states that maritime disputes are fairly common and that there’s nothing that’s stopping his company from being interested in this licensing round.

My fellow Lebanese, thus far, we have British, Iranian, Russian, Syrian, and Lebanese hands in involved in our pursuit for using our natural resources. Does anyone find this problematic? Granted, the Levantine basin  holds roughly 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas, making it one of the world’s largest richest fossil fuel sources, and that’s why this area is so coveted.  That said, this is leading to a ridiculous amount of foreign involvement in our political affairs. We will not be able to assert our political or economic independence if we rely on foreign private companies to drill in our waters. Besides, we stand to lose in the long run if we invest in sources of energy that are not renewable. After all, sooner or later this source will run out, and what we will end up with is an environment that we have further polluted by air, land, and sea. Using oil and natural gas as sources of energy has permanent environmental consequences, such as disrupting marine eco-systems, polluting our food sources, changes in our weather, and more.  

Lebanon, it is time for us to invest in sources of renewable energy. It’s cheaper, cleaner, and leads to more political independence. Are you willing to increase the amount of foreign involvement in our foreign affairs? Are you willing to risk yet more militarized disputes? Are you willing to live in a dirtier environment that we may not be able to rehabilitate? We can stop this now. Let us invest in renewable energy. We can do it, Lebanon!  

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. If you’ve been following the news, then you probably already know that on Monday, our ministry did not reach an agreement regarding the allocation of $1.2 billion to the Ministry of Energy in order to invest in the new oil-drilling project. Those who opposed giving the money to the ministry did so on the basis that doing so would give Gibran Bassil access to it without any committee or oversight ensuring his accountability. In response,  Michel Aoun threatened that his ministers would quit from Cabinet if an agreement did not come to pass. Given that Michel Aoun has the largest care of cabinet seats, Prime Minister Najib Mikati is expected to back down on this issue if only for the sake of maintaining our already-fragile government. 

Lebanon, the state of our government is such that it is willing to risk closure over financial allocations over this project. Nor is this the only political problem that the future oil-drilling project presents. The area that is rich in oil and gas resources is 850 square kilometers off the coast between Israel and Lebanon. This adds yet another point of contention betwee the two countries, as both lay claim to it. While the U.N. is in the process of demaricating the borders (as they should; each country should know its land and maritime borders) the political scenario surrounding this project does not bode well.

To break it down politically, we plan on drilling oil in a disputed area in order to use non-renewable sources of energy that will cause our environment harm. This is in spite of the fact that this issue has brought such fracture to our government that it risks dissolution. We will also be using an Iranian company to drill the oil and will be receiving natural gas from Iran, which increases our dependence on a foreign nation for our basic needs. Does anyone else see a problem here?

On an environmental level, drilling for oil and using fossil fuels for energy creates air  and water pollution, hurts plants and animal life, creates toxic waste, and causes global warming. By virtue of polluting our land, air, and sea, such methods also poses severe health risks for humans. Fossil fuels are also a non-renewable source of energy, and before long we will need another source to generate electricity from; in sum, the $1.2 billion will not be a permanent investment. Regardless of your political affiliation, these are factors to consider when discussing the oil-drilling project.

Fortunately, there are alternative solutions that are more eco-friendly, cheaper, and far less politicized. If we invest in solar technology, we have much to gain. After all, the sun is for free, and using it at a source of energy means we will never be subject to the ups and downs of energy markets. We will also never have to rely on foreign powers for our energy needs. Moreover, it is a clean alternative to the fossil fuels that will pollute our air and water even further. Using solar energy will also prevent the health risks that oil drilling and the use of oil for energy purposes will have on us. As a country that has 300 sunny days out of 365, it is a worthwhile investment! Regardless of your political affiliation, we can all agree that we need a clean country and want to protect and improve our health and political independence.  This is the way to an energy-independent and clean future:

 My fellow Lebanese, we can do it if we want to!!